Working with Peppermint
Peppermint leaf and oil (2-4 drops in a cup of warm water, mixed well) are used to counteract nausea and vomiting and to relieve intestinal gas and bowel irritation. Peppermint is also used for biliary disorders, dyspepsia, headache, and fevers and colds. In Europe enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil are taken for colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. In Chinese medicine it is indicated for fever and headaches associated with certain kinds of colds and flu (wind-heat, with yellow or green mucus and fever), and skin lesions.
The classic European cold and flu remedy is made by making a strong infusion with 1 part each of peppermint herb, yarrow tops, and elder flowers and drinking 1-2 cups hot. Take a hot bath during the time the tea is consumed, wrap up in a sheet, and cover yourself with a sleeping bag–then sweat. This sweating therapy is good for breaking a fever (diaphoretic), releasing heat and toxins from the body. Make sure to replace lost liquids with plenty of herb tea or water. Peppermint oil in enteric-coated (disolves in the small intestine) capsules are used today for easing chronic digestive pains and cramping due to gas or irritable bowel syndrome which have some research supporting their effectiveness. However, a number of contraindications and side-effects have been noted in some people, including a burning sensation in the lower digestive tract. Contraindications include:
*any occlusion of the gall bladder and passages from spasms or stones.
*pregnancy or breast-feeding
*in those with heartburn
The internal use of peppermint oil is contraindicated in young children.
Start with a 1-drop dose mixed in warm water or soothing tea (like marshmallow root) or commercial enteric-coated capsules to start with to check for individual sensitivity to the oil. Some people may experience gastrointestinal irritation. Breathing the oil in an inhaler can produce breathlessness and spasms of the larynx in sensitive people.
Peppermint has a taste of AROMATIC, SPICY and a temperature of COOL.